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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sam Bennett Interview Summarized

Instead of presenting you with one lengthy post about my three hour interview with Lehigh Valley Congressional candidate Sam Bennett, I broke it up into parts over the past week. Here are links to each interview segment.

Sam Bennett: "I am the Very Embodiment of the Change People Want."

Sam Bennett Interview: Nuts 'n Bolts Political Questions

Bennett and POM

Is Bennett a Bad Sam-aritan?

Sam Bennett's Fiscal Policies

Bennett's Post-Oil World

Sam Bennett Interview: Iraq and Foreign Affairs

Quality Healthcare Matters to Bennett

Bennett's Views on Education and Crime

Bennett is a friendly and well-meaning person who does try to make a difference. I would support her in a heartbeat if she were to challenge Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. But I could never support her congressional bid against incumbent Charlie Dent. Time and again, she displayed only a superficial understanding of most issues. She's simply out of her league.

I want to thank readers from both ends of the political spectrum for some very penetrating questions, and apologize for my own poor follow up. I will rely on you again when it is time to question Charlie Dent.

AJ's Web Blog has an excellent analysis of the Bennett interview, and you can read it here. "Bennett is not suitable for Congress. Many people may be unhappy with Charlie Dent, but you don't fix a problem by making it worse. My support come election day will be for Dent."


A.J. Cordi said...

I hope Dent at least allows the recorder. How many more pens need to die?

Bob said...

Bernie three quick comments. Sam told you all that she expected you wanted to hear. Nothing new here, she did the same thing when she was running for mayor.
Next, democrats promise and promise and promise when they are running. And, then they do nothing.
Republicans, at least, tell you what needs to be done and, if fortunate enough to win, do what they promise. They are then criticized by the press (republicans are intrusive). Ultimately the electorate sees this (remember Bill Heydt). And, ultimately Heydt lost the third time when he had no real message to give the people (he assumed that the people would remember his success).
Democrats, status quo, republicans, action. Let's see what happens in a year or so.

A.J. Cordi said...

Republicans have been in the White House for almost eight years and looked at the actions that have followed...

If we're gonna play party politics, they're all to blame in the end.

Bernie O'Hare said...


I'm not sure I agree with that analysis. You assume that ALL Dems and ALL Rs act alike. That is not always so.

In Bennett's case, she obviously was trying to win my vote. Nothing wrong with that. I appreciate her effort, but she simply is not in the same league as Charlie Dent.

I am surprised that someone who announced her congressional intentions last february would be so poorly informed about so many issues, especially when it comes to foreign affairs. She and her staff could see the questions as they were posed by readers, and she answered pretty poorly.

I was impressed by her understanding of Allentown's problems, but that does not make her a member of Congress. I see no reason to replace someone who knows what he's doing with someone who does not.

Bill Leiner talks a lot about change. Not all changes are good. Obviously, I disagree with Dent about a number of issues, but like the way he makes his decisions. He is informed and very deliberate. He earned my vote last time around and has justified my confidence in him. I'm sure my readers will have just as many tough questions for Charlie as they did for Sam and people will see the difference.

Oh, for Pete's sake! said...

I was impressed by her understanding of Allentown's problems, but that does not make her a member of Congress.--Bernie O'Hare

This got me thinking. Allentown needs solutions, not more analysis. This past April, Lehigh Valley Somebody ran a great post asking readers for idea for the Americus Hotel building, and there were some interesting, well-thought-out comments. Perhaps you could ask similarly for ideas from your readers as to how to constructively tackle Allentown's crime issues? You will probably have to remove a few useless, offensive comments, but I think some pretty good ideas will come through, too. Everyday citizens who actually live and work with this issue can be a valuable source on information, but all too often their voices are drowned out by community leaders who aren't really in touch, although their intentions are good.

Just a suggestion, and a little off-topic at that. Hope I'm not out of line.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pete, Thanks for the suggestion, which I always appreciate. I will prepare a post about this for tomorrow.

Glenn said...

thank you for the interview. i intend to vote for Sam as Dent has been a bush rubber stamp, would be a mccain rubber stamp and get in the way of obama. dent's alleged better understanding of the issues hasn't been displayed in any meaningful way. he's been in long enough. i've been disappointed by my contacts with his office trying to get him to show some spine and stick up the bush inc. but he's sold himself to corporate america. sam's got energy and excitement and she is certainly better qualified than 99% of the republican congress.

A.J. Cordi said...

"Sam's got energy and excitement and she is certainly better qualified than 99% of the republican congress."

How is Sam more qualified? Seriously, I want to know...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Glenn, You read the interview. If it convinced you Bennett is the better bet, you should definitely go with her. I personally think Charlie Dent is in that 1% of Rs who are more qualified than Bennett. But if you educate yourself about the candidates and have a different opinion, more power to you. When my Dent interview is scheduled, I'll count on you for some tough questions.

Glenn said...


Thank you again for your interview with Sam and I look forward to the one with Charlie Dent. I have many questions I'd like him to answer since he never responded to my emails.

A.J., Sam was very helpful and thoughtful to my daughter who volunteered for Sam a few years ago. Besides, for me, if we are going to have rubber stamp politicians, which the Republicans have perfected, b/t/w thanks to the most corrupt politicians we've seen, Delay et al should I list the criminals the republicans have produced since bush has been president? there isn't enough space here, that doesn't include the pedaphiles and other perverts. not that the Dems don't have their share, but it pales in comparison to republican criminals. anyway with an Obama presidency Americans will be reexposed to an ethical administration who knows what "people" means.

A.J. Cordi said...

Is there a personal experience behind your response?

I have 100% respect for your response and opinions, but it seems like your missing the fact that Bennett is not at all experienced. As Bernie has said, she may be a nice person but that is even questionable at times because of her past actions.

Oh, for Pete's sake! said...

"Sam was very helpful and thoughtful to my daughter who volunteered for Sam a few years ago."


This is the basis for your statement that she is more qualified than 99% of the Republican Congress? (Which, BTW, is confusing because neither houses of Congress currently have a Republican majority? If you are commenting on the status quo right now, that would actually refer to the Democratic majority. Did you mean "Republicans in Congress"?)

Just out of curiosity, in what capacity did your daughter volunteer for Ms. Bennett, and how old was she when she did her service? Was it with one of her campaigns, with POM or in some other capacity? This information would help readers to determine if they feel the qualifications you are referring to do actually apply towards a seat in the US House of Representatives.

Bernie O'Hare said...

if we are going to have rubber stamp politicians

Actually, I think Dent is much less a rubber stamp than Bennett. Bennett will do what party bosses tell her. Dent is his own man. He demonstrated that just yesterday, with a vote to extend GI benefits. He was one of just 32 Rs to do so, and one of just 4 Rs in the Pa. congressional delegation to vote for soldiers instead of his party.